Babel and Babylon: spectatorship in American silent film 1 A Cinema in Search of a Spectator: Film-Viewer Relations before Hollywoodpage 23; 2 Early. Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film. By Miriam Hansen. ( Cambridge: Harvard University Press, xii + pp. Babel and Babylon: spectatorship in American silent film / Miriam Hansen Topic: Silent films–History and criticism: Motion picture audiences–History.

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Email alerts New issue alert. Babel and Babylon recasts the debate on early American cinema—and by implication on American film as a whole. In each case the classical construction of spectatorship is complicated by factors of gender and sexuality, crystallizing around the fear and desire of the female consumer.

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Babel and Babylon: spectatorship in American silent film

Our recent titles are available via Edelweiss. Don’t have an account? To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. Sign In or Create an Account. Join Our Mailing List: Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. In this process, Hansen argues, the cinema might also have provided the conditions of an alternative public sphere for particular social groups, such as recent immigrants and women, by furnishing an intersubjective context in which they could recognize fragments of their own experience.


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It is a model study in the field of cinema studies, mediating the concerns of recent film theory with those of recent film history. Harvard University Press, Jonathan Mayhew and the Principles of the American Revolution. After tracing the emergence of spectatorship as an institution, Hansen pursues the question of reception through detailed readings of a single film, D. Edward Lear is an apt character to think about at Christmas-time.

His nonsense books, mo …. Spectatorship in American Silent Film. Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic. As the cinema began to separate itself from the commercial entertainments in spectwtorship context films initially had been shown—vaudeville, dime museums, fairgrounds—a particular concept of its spectator was developed on the level of film style, as a means of predicting the reception of films on a mass scale.

Babel and Babylon : spectatorship in American silent film / Miriam Hansen | Smithsonian Institution

An Environmental History since The digital Loeb Classical Library loebclassics. In Babel and BabylonMiriam Hansen offers an original perspective on American film by tying the emergence of spectatorship to the historical transformation of the public sphere.


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